Sykora lifts Oilers over Flames
Edmonton Oilers newcomer Petr Sykora certainly has bought into the Battle of Alberta.
Sykora scored both goals as the hometown Oilers edged the Calgary Flames 2-1 before a capacity crowd of 16,839 fans at Rexall Place on Tuesday.
Sykora snapped a 1-1 stalemate with 6:03 remaining, chipping in a fat rebound from Mikka Kiprusoff for the decisive goal, his 11th of the season.
"Getting a couple points always feels good against that team," Sykora said.
Kiprusoff, one of the NHL's stingiest goaltenders, was unable to control the rebound on the initial shot from Ales Hemsky and the hard-charging Sykora capitalized.
"I hadn't scored in six games, so I felt I was kind of due to get one in," Sykora said. "And I was glad it was in this game."
It was Sykora's second goal on the night, second winner in three games against Calgary, and fourth of the provincial rivalry.
"He has put up some pretty good numbers against the Flames," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said, pointing out Sykora's 13 goals and 22 points in 20 career meetings with Calgary.
"He is opportunistic, to say the least. When he gets an opportunity, he is going to put it in the back of the net."
Dwayne Roloson matched Kiprusoff stop for stop, turning aside 23 of 24 shots as the Oilers (12-8-1) extended their win streak to four games.
"I was just trying to stay with him the best I could," Roloson said.
Kiprusoff, whose save percentage (.928) is slightly higher than Roloson's (.922), also made 23 saves, 13 in the first period.
Kristian Huselius tallied the lone goal for the Flames (9-8-2), winners in their previous six outings following four straight losses.
"We played pretty good for the first 10 minutes and got the lead like we wanted," he said. "But then, we couldn't finish it."
Huselius was the beneficiary of miscommunication between Roloson and defenceman Daniel Tjarnqvist, who coughed up the puck as he stickhandled near the Oilers net.
Roloson appeared ready to smother the puck with his glove when Tjarnqvist tapped it off the rounded side of the cage with his stick.
Chuck Kobasew pounced on the loose puck and fed Huselius in front for his seventh goal of the season 9:46 into the contest.
Tjarnqvist later made amends by drawing an assist on Sykora's winning goal.
Edmonton evened proceedings on Sykora's 10th during a two-man advantage late in the first period.
With Andrei Zyuzin and Tony Amonte serving minor penalties for tripping and hooking, respectively, Hemsky passed to Sykora at the top of faceoff circle and he slapped a one-timer just inside the right goal post with 31 seconds left.
Calgary was called for only three penalties in all.
With files from Sports Network